25.02.2024

Two women charged with attacking state senator during Wisconsin protests

On Wednesday, Samantha Hamer, 26, and Kerida O’Reilly, 33, were each charged with one count of being a party to substantial battery, according to the Associated Press.

Two women have been charged with attacking a Wisconsin state representative.

The pair turned themselves over to police after surveillance footage was released by authorities who wanted to speak with two people of interest.

During the protest on 23 June, two women allegedly broke off from the group of 200 to 300 demonstrators and approached Mr Carpenter, after they saw the senator filming the protest.

Demonstrators had demanded media leave the protest earlier in the night, and one of the women shouted at the senator: “Hey you’re not recording,” as she reportedly grabbed his phone.

The senator refused to give his phone to the women and after he wrestled his device away from them, one of the pair allegedly punched him as another demanded he delete the footage.

Mr Carpenter claims he then fell to the ground and was beaten by a group of people. His phone and glasses were taken but later returned.

A member of the press who was still covering the protest corroborated the senator’s version of events to the police.

The senator was treated by paramedics later that night for pain in his head, neck, ribs and arms, but declined to go to hospital.

Protests against police brutality and racism have taken place all across the US over the last couple of months, following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while in the custody of a then Minneapolis police officer.

Two statues outside of the state’s Capitol were toppled the night of the protest on June 23 and Molotov cocktails were thrown into a government building, in addition to the alleged assault.

Ms O’Reilly’s attorney Nathan Otis told the AP that his client did not commit any crime and added that as the case progresses the lack of evidence against her will become clear.

They reported that Ms Hamer has not yet been appointed an attorney and was placed on leave on Monday at her job as a social worker with the Mount Horeb School District.

If convicted, the women could be fined up to $10,000 (£7,700) and jailed for up to three-and-a-half years.

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